A suspect with Islamic extremism connections is currently being held in police custody after three officers were wounded in the attack with a machete in Times Square on New Year's Eve.
The police officers were attacked around 10.11 p.m. on Saturday evening at W 52nd Street and 8th Avenue near an area of police security for the New Year's Eve celebrations at Times Square, New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant Sewell told reporters at the press conference on Sunday.
“Unprovoked, an 18-year-old male approached an officer and tried to stab him in the head with a machete. The suspect then struck two other officers on the head using the machete.” Sewall said.
One officer fired his gun at the suspect, striking him in the shoulder. The suspect was taken into custody shortly thereafter.
Two of the officers injured were transported to Bellevue Hospital, where they were found to be in good health. One of the wounded officers who had been in the force for 8 years, had an injury to the head. Another officer who completed the police academy on Friday was struck on the head and sustained an injury.
A second officer who sustained unknown injuries was transported by ambulance to Mount Sinai West hospital and is likely to be able to return.
The person in question was identified later to be Trevor Bickford, 19, from Wells, Maine, the New York Post reported, using law enforcement sources.
Although Bickford has no criminal records according to police sources, they have told The Post that the FBI in Boston was aware of the suspect, even placing him on a guardian's registry because of his radicalization. In addition, the aunt of Bickford has reported that he was radicalized to the authorities due to the fact that the man allegedly claimed he was planning for a fight with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Other law enforcement sources have told the New York Daily News that Pickford is a “radicalized terrorist.”
The NYPD released a photo of the weapon used in the attack that the commissioner Sewall described as a “large knife.”
Bickford was also transported for treatment to Bellevue Hospital, where he is being treated for injuries. The charges are still pending, the Post said.
Police are asking anyone with information regarding the incident to get in touch with them.